According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lions Gate Films and IFC Films announced Sunday that they will contest the R rating that the MPAA has awarded Michael Moore's documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, which will be released June 25.
The MPAA issued the rating, which requires that moviegoers under 17 be accompanied by a parent or guardian, because of the film's "violent and disturbing images and for language." Lions Gate is asking MPAA head Jack Valenti for an emergency appeal because the film is scheduled to open in less than two weeks.
In a statement, Moore said: "It is sadly very possible that many 15- and 16-years-olds will be asked and recruited to serve in Iraq in the next couple of years. If they are old enough to be recruited and capable of being in combat and risking their lives, they certainly deserve the right to see what is going on in Iraq." Said Lions Gate Films Releasing president Tom Ortenberg: "Lions Gate Films will continue to aggressively support the artistic visions of our filmmakers.
The MPAA rating applied to Fahrenheit 9/11 is completely unjustified. We are adamant about overturning this decision in an expeditious manner to ensure that as many people as possible, including young adults who represent the future of our nation, are able to see one of the most important and thought-provoking films of our time in theaters on June 25."
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